An Iowa Idyll

Give your home a his­toric fla­vor what­ever its age with the help of an an­tiques dealer who dec­o­rated her own coun­try Crafts­man with fa­vorite finds and time­less trea­sures.

Country Sampler - - Contents -

Give your decor a his­toric fla­vor with the help of an an­tiques dealer who adorned her Iowa Crafts­man with time­less trea­sures.

Maybe it was the street name—the idyl­lic-sound­ing Sun­set Place—or the fact that the house felt well-aged de­spite be­ing built in 2003. Maybe it was the rus­tic beams, the cedar ceil­ings, the wood floor or the liv­ing room’s two-story stone fire­place. What­ever the rea­son, Tammy Schroeder-Sut­ton and her hus­band, Roger Sut­ton, fell hard in 2013 for their four-bed­room Crafts­man-style home, with its large front porch and more than 4,000 square feet of liv­ing space. The house is set on an acre of land in a north­east Iowa river town about half­way be­tween Des Moines and Min­neapo­lis, and the prop­erty even fea­tures a pond and wan­der­ing tur­key and deer. “We came from a house built in the 1900s, so we weren’t will­ing to give up that feel,” Tammy ex­plains. “This house has new-house con­ve­niences with an old-house soul. It’s also sur­rounded by fields and na­ture.”

In­side, the se­cluded and spa­cious house re­flects the nearby woods and wa­ter with nat­u­ral touches and tex­tures through­out. The main level in­cludes a kitchen and old-fash­ioned pantry; liv­ing and din­ing rooms that share a stone fire­place; a mas­ter suite; and a laun­dry area. Three guest bed­rooms, a full bath­room and two sit­ting ar­eas are up­stairs; the lower level houses the fam­ily room, also with stone fire­place, an­other bath­room, an ex­er­cise area and a work­shop. The kitchen has seen the most up­dates, Tammy says, in­clud­ing new paint, light­ing, coun­ter­tops, ap­pli­ances and ac­ces­sories. Roger loves to cook and en­joys ex­per­i­ment­ing with new recipes, and the is­land is usu­ally sur­rounded by friends and fam­ily, in­clud­ing the cou­ple’s two grown chil­dren and four grand­chil­dren. A new deck off the kitchen al­lows for out­door en­ter­tain­ing as well as a pri­vate spot in which to re­lax and take in the sur­round­ing woods and ac­com­pa­ny­ing wildlife.

An an­tiques dealer, Tammy loves dec­o­rat­ing with the trea­sures she gath­ers for her­self as well as clients of her shop, Back­roads-n-Bit­ter­sweet. For years, peo­ple had told her she should open a shop, and she did in 2015, nam­ing the busi­ness in honor of the pas­toral ex­plor­ing she first did with her mom. “I would de­scribe my style and per­sonal look as early Amer­i­can coun­try,” Tammy ex­plains. “I love au­then­tic orig­i­nal paint from the 18th and 19th cen­tury.”

Tammy col­lects red­ware, firkins, pantry boxes, bas­kets, wall boxes and checker­boards, and she gets a kick out of shar­ing her style with oth­ers. “Our home is very lived in, invit­ing, rus­tic, sim­ple, re­laxed, com­fort­able and homey,” she says. Her fa­vorite rooms are the din­ing room, where she has a com­fort­able chair by the fire­place, the up­stairs sit­ting room and, not sur­pris­ingly, the screened porch, the per­fect van­tage point for the sun­sets that in­spired the street name. An Iowa idyll, in­deed.

On their way out for a sun­set stroll, Roger and Tammy pause to ad­mire a vin­tage planter Tammy picked up on one of her many an­tiquing for­ays.

Right: Play up the graphic sen­si­bil­ity of printed crocks with a small sam­pler that echoes their let­ter­ing as well as their blue and cream tones. Be­low: Craft a re­lax­ing re­treat through an un­ex­pected fur­ni­ture ar­range­ment, as Tammy did in this sit­ting area, by plac­ing two wing chairs fac­ing each other—one at an an­gle—and adding a small rocker and an in­ter­est­ing table.

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